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Thread: Trap-Out method

  1. #21
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    May 2005
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    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    Default

    I used iddee's approach to get one of my swarms out of a neighbours wall last year
    took three weeks, they weren't very well established
    worked like a charm

    Dave

  2. #22
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    May 2008
    Location
    France
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    Default Trap out.

    iddee,

    I'm fascinated by your Trap out. I live in France and have just bought a wonderful old house which has three colonies of bees living in the walls. One of the walls, which has two colonies in it, is over a metre thick. I am determined not to kill the bees and would be very grateful if you could give me some information about how your Trap out works and what I need to do. If you send me your telephone number, I would be happy to give you a call, if that is more convenient.

    Rupert

    cox.rupert@wanadoo.fr

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
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    769

    Default Trap Outs Work

    I assume everyone knows the basic trap-out method or can find it on many threads at beesource.

    But what happens during the 6-8 weeks a trap-out takes? After the beek gets the one-way exit working, the colony goes through a massive loss of foragers in a couple of days and no more food/water comes into the hive thus emulating a major dearth; the queen shuts down egg laying; house, nurse bees and newly emerged bees become foragers, and exit to never return; the emerge-exit cycle continues until the queen is virtually alone while moths and beetles ravage the combs; the queen either exits (maybe 1 in 10 odds) or dies (usually); the beek removes the comb, smears a little honey at the entrance, may pop in a couple of wax moth larvae, and lets a strong hive rob out any remaining honey, which may take a few days; the beek finally plugs the hole trapping whatever is left.

    Explain the process and what to expect (to avoid any "panic") to the property owner/tenant and they will usually opt for removal if it's possible to do so. Sometimes, it's not possible without 10s to 100s of thousands $s work on the structure; sometimes the owner just doesn't want holes cut.

    I have examined a ceiling cavity about 1.5 year's after the trap-out of a big hive: nothing left but wispy shreds of comb and about 1 inch of debris (very dry and dusty), hundreds of dead wax moth cocoons.

    Next time you have a mean hive in some old equipment, trap it out and observe what happens.
    Triangle Bees

  4. #24
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    Apr 2003
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    Greenville, TX, USA
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    nice write up db....

  5. #25
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    Jun 2005
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    Greensboro, N.C.
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    Thank You, DB.

    Rupert, DB has written it quite well. The only thing I disagree with is the queen rate. I think the queen leaves 10 out of 10, but she only enters the the bait hive 1 out of 10. I think she absconds with the last handful of bees the rest of the time. Take a look at these photos and read carefully what DB said, then if you have more questions, I'll try to answer them here to save you an international phone call.

    http://s81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...e/TRAP%20OUTS/

  6. #26
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    May 2008
    Location
    France
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    Thank you DB and 1ddee. That's very helpful. I've never had anything to do with keeping bees, so please read on bearing in mind my ignorance/innocence. If the cone is put over the entrance to the colony in the wall and the exit from the cone is placed actually inside the new hive by way of a tube; will this increase the likelyhood of the queen taking up residence in the hive? Also I read somewhere that putting a full brood frame from another hive encouraged the queen to come into the new hive to check out the aliens?

  7. #27
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    Jun 2005
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    Greensboro, N.C.
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    A full brood frame from another hive is an absolute necessity. It must also contain unhatched eggs, along with larva. The cone does not have to go into the bait hive, just very near and ABOVE the bait hive entrance. The smell of the brood floats UP to the cone to attract the bees into it. The eggs will be used to raise a new queen. It doesn't matter whether you get the queen or not, unless you are specifically wanting that genetics. The object of my traps is to raise queens from my hive, with someone else's support bees, while removing the colony from the structure. If I get the queen, fine....If she absconds with the last handful of bees, so be it. I still have my queen and the support bees.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
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    What is your charging structure, iddee, on trap out?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  9. #29
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
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    I have a trap-out procedure that I have used with some success. Here it is:

    1. Eliminate all but one entrance/exit
    2. Place a screen cone 18 inches long that tapers to an opening of 3/8 inch over the exit hole.
    3. Place a hive containing one frame of unsealed brood, some honey and empty combs near the apex of the cone and at a right angle to it.
    4. Check often for additional exits/entrances leaving hive in place for 30 days.
    5. After 6 weeks remove the cone, place 1 Tsp of sulfur power in lit smoker and puff into the old entrance hole. This kills any remaining bees or queen.
    6. The next day, smear some honey into and around the entrance to incite robbing by the bees that are now in the hive.
    7. When robbing stops, remove the hive at night when bees are inside.

    Any ideas for improving upon this method will be appreciated. I have used this procedure for removing bees from trees and from a few buildings. I post it here in the hope that other experienced trappers will offer instructive comments. Unfortunately, many in my area advise homeowners with bees in a wall to dust the nest with 5% Sevin.

  10. #30
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeAware View Post
    place 1 Tsp of sulfur power in lit smoker and puff into the old entrance hole. This kills any remaining bees or queen.
    Is this the same as used for acidifying soil? What are the hazards?

  11. #31
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    Jun 2005
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    Greensboro, N.C.
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    Chef, your PM box is full. Clear some of them out.

  12. #32
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    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    Just did Iddee. It would be great if you could resend it.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
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    Trap outs are hard.

    Lots of trips to the site. Sometimes there are lots of bees in the air.

    I've never gotten the queen either, but others I have spoken to say they have. (I think they got lucky and got a virgin who went out to mate and got locked out.)

    So I mostly agree with what others have written above.

    I think if it all goes right, the comb and debris that is left in the wall is a minimal problem.

    Within a few days to a week of the trap having been in place, the queen should shut down laying. No food or water coming in and huge losses of bees should get her to shut down. Then it is a waiting game. You must wait for all the larvae to hatch as adults, then you must wait for the adult bees inside to get old enough to fly out as foragers and get trapped out. I figure this process takes about 6-8 weeks.

    After I figure the bees in the wall to be pretty much done, I then remove the trap box and place a full working hive nearby. I then smear some honey around the opening and let them go in and rob it out for a week or so. Then close it up.

    The problems I have had and learned from.

    1. When you are all done with the bees in the wall and bring in the full hive, there can not be a nectar flow on or they will just go about their normal foraging and not be in the mood to rob out that honey in the wall. They conditions have to be right for robbing to occur.

    2. For me in Orlando FL this means I cannot do a trapout except during the late fall (Nov-Jan) and winter months when there is little natural forage, but bees are still flying every day. If I lived in a more temperate area, I'd guess I could only do this once it was warm enough in the spring for flight most every day, but not yet much of any natural forage. If you wait too long the bloom will start and you'll never get the wall cleaned out.

    3. The other problem I've had is with Small Hive Beetle. If despite what I've written above I try a warm weather trap out and the hive in the wall starts crashing due to no food, no water, and loss of foragers, then the hive beetles will lay thousands of eggs in there and the whole mess can collapse in the wall into a gooey oozing pile of maggots and rotting honey and dead bee larvae. REALLY NASTY.

    Because the results can be spectacularly bad, I use a contract that specifies no guarantees, nothing but my best effort as a beekeeper. I quote a price and included in that price I figure at least 10 visits to the site, but I tell them it is $30 a trip for everyone over the forecasted 10. I tell them there may be large number of confused bees in the air, and that I may have to drill some holes in the wall and fill some holes with caulk or foam etc and that I won't fix these things when I'm done. I also state that they are required to hire a contractor or otherwise properly repair the wall after the bees are gone as I don't guarantee that other bees won't come back. That comb in the wall is a magnet for another swarm - It is amazing how often another one will find a new path back in there and then a new swarm moves in.

    Good luck with your trapouts. I still do them, but only if the conditions, timing, and money are right. I guess I enjoy the challenge.
    Troy

  14. #34
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    Jul 2004
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    Just spent an hour on the phone with Iddee and taking trap outs. Great conversation and get person too! thank you for your time!
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  15. #35
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    May 2008
    Location
    France
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    6

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    Troy,

    That's a really helpful post. At the moment, and for the rest of the summer, there is a mass of bloom about. So, having read your advice, I'll wait until September before I start my trap outs. I have two colonies about 2 metres apart in a metre thick wall and a third colony in a thinner wall. I'm meaning to try to trap out the 2 colonies at the same time into two hives side by side. The colonies are about 3 metres off the ground, so I'll make a platform about two metres high and extend the cone with a pipe to the hive entrances. Over ambitiuos?

    Rupert

  16. #36
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    Jun 2005
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    Greensboro, N.C.
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    Rupert, Although Troy is right and did a nice write up, it doesn't apply to your area very well. He is in an area of little or no winter, plants blooming nearly year round, ETC. If you want to wait, spring is the best time for your area. The stores and population will be low, the flow will be near, for a quick build up. If you do it in the fall, you may well lose them over winter.

    I use the bees from the trap out to clean out the house. They don't seem to mind robbing their own honey, even in a flow. It may be because they have so few stores, or that they are familiar with the place. I don't know. I have never tried using another hive to do the clean up.

    "queen explanation"....I never said I get the queen all the time. I said she leaves the structure all the time. Most times, when most of her bees have disappeared, she will take the last handful and head for parts unknown. There is a difference in her coming out, and you getting her.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    France
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    Fair comment. in southwest France there has been a good pollen flow for more than a month now, so I reckon that stores of honey must be fairly good. Next spring will probably be the best time for me to attempt to do the trap-out. Also I am going to have to do the roof; so there will be scaffolding around the house, which might make a trap-out more awkward.

    I really appreciate all the advice from you guys. Thank you.

    Rupert

  18. #38
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    Jun 2008
    Location
    Comanche, TX
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    Iddee - is a 5 deep-frame nuc-box used for catching swarms big enough to do a trapout? I figure I can transfer them to a regular hive when I get them back home.

    Be well,
    Mike

  19. #39
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    Mike, a trap out is used to trap a colony of bees. How many bees are in the colony? If it is a swarm that just moved in, a nuc may hold them. If it has been there for 3 plus years, it may take 3 deeps to hold them all. It is best to start with a deep hive body. If it fills up with bees, swap it for an empty and keep trapping. If the structure empties before they fill 5 frames, transfer it to a nuc then.

  20. #40
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    Jun 2008
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    Comanche, TX
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    Thanks. From my cutouts in the first half of the season it just seemed like there wasn't that many bees to warrant all that extra space even for multi-year hives since the buildup hadn't kicked in heavily yet. I've yet to do a post-buildup cutout tho excepting a tree-cutout last weekend but from what I've seen, trees usually don't generally seem to have as many bees as a residential wall cavity thanks to less room and frequent swarming. Just wanted to get several going at once and was looking for ways to save a bit during the trapout so I could spend more on the actual hives since I use long hives rather than vertical Langs.

    Be well,
    Mike

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